Australia v Pakistan Tests - Men
Super Smith smashes 73-year-old record
Prolific batter rewrites history yet again as his legend continues to grow
30 November 2019, 03:58 PM AEST
Steve Smith has added another milestone to his remarkable international career, breaking a 73-year record in becoming the fastest player to 7,000 Test runs on day two of the second Domain Test against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval.
Smith began the match needing just 23 runs to reach the landmark, and in doing so he also moved past another feted number in Australian cricket – the 6,996 Test runs scored by Sir Donald Bradman.
Since playing his final Test in 1948, Bradman's mark has now been eclipsed by 11 Australians, though none have come close to the cracking pace set by Smith.
The 30-year-old reached 7,000 runs in his 126th Test innings, breaking the world record of 131 innings held by Englishman Wally Hammond, whose brilliant 85-Test career ran through the same era as Bradman's.
In the intervening decades, Indian pair Virender Sehwag (134 inns) and Sachin Tendulkar (136) had come closest to Hammond among the 48 other batsmen to have reached the 7,000-run landmark.
The Australian, who made one and 12 from No.8 as a leg-spinning allrounder on Test debut in 2010, has established himself in the past six years as the dominant batsman of his era with a stunning 26 hundreds in his past 57 Tests and an average that topped 65 during this year's Ashes.
For context, Bradman's 6,996 runs arrived in just 80 innings, leaving the legendary Australian streets ahead of his nearest rivals.
Fastest to 7,000 Test runs
126 innings – Steve Smith (Aus)
131 – Wally Hammond (Eng)
134 – Virender Sehwag (Ind)
136 – Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)
138 – Sir Garfield Sobers (WI), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Virat Kohli (Ind)
140 – Sunil Gavaskar (Ind), Viv Richards (WI)
Among the 11 Australians to have reached 7,000 Test runs, Matthew Hayden (142 inns) and Ricky Ponting (145) are the next quickest to the mark, while Indian Virat Kohli is Smith's nearest contemporary rival, having hit the figure in 138 innings against South Africa last month.
"You hear all sorts of words, 'genius' is one that comes to mind," Ponting told cricket.com.au in September when asked about Smith.
"It's his application to what he does. He just doesn't make any mistakes. His concentration levels are obviously unbelievably good.
"He's got a game plan that's working incredibly well for him to the point where it just looks like teams have no idea how they're going to bowl to him, where they're going to bowl to him, how they're going to get him out.
"Right now, he's on top of his game but he's also got every opposition team exactly where he wants them.
"He's in his early thirties now, he's got four, five, six years of good cricket ahead of him, which if you add it up that's probably another 80, 90 Test matches.
"Then he's played 150 games and could have all sorts of numbers and records by then … he deserves to go down as one of the greats."
Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
First Test: Australia won by an innings and five runs.